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Canada May Be Asked to Devise a Central American Peacekeeping Plan With AM-Central America,

January 22, 1988

Canada May Be Asked to Devise a Central American Peacekeeping Plan With AM-Central America, Bjt

OTTAWA (AP) _ Canada will likely be asked within two weeks to devise a Central American peacekeeping plan that might call for participation by Canadian troops as observers, Ambassador Sergio Lacayo of Nicaragua said Thursday.

Speaking to reporters after meeting Foreign Minister Joe Clark of Canada, Lacayo said he expects the next meeting of Central American foreign ministers to result in a request for Canadian help in devising ways to verify a regional peace.

″I’m very optimistic and I think that in about two weeks″ an approach will be made to Canada, he said.

The Central American ministers must approve the approach but Lacayo said he is confident it will be made.

Clark first offered peacekeeping assistance during a Central American tour late last year. He said all five countries that signed the regional peace plan in August 1987 - Nicaragua, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Honduras and Guatemala - must ask for Canada’s help and added that it would be provided once guerrilla fighting stops.

Spain and the Nordic countries may also be asked to participate. Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega is scheduled to visit Madrid on Jan. 27.

Earlier this week, Clark refused to rule out accepting Nicaraguan Contra rebels as immigrants in Canada, provided they are not criminals or guilty of human rights abuse.

Canada participates in U.N.-sponsored peacekeeping forces in Cyprus and the Middle East.

The ambassadors to Ottawa from El Salvador, Costa Rica, Honduras and Guatemala also attended Thursday’s meeting.

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